The Special Court for Sierra Leone was set up jointly by the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations. It is mandated to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law committed in the territory of Sierra Leone since 30 November 1996. Currently, 11 persons associated with all three of the country’s former warring factions stand indicted by the Special Court.
Because of the importance of the mission with which the Special Court for Sierra Leone has been invested, the Center established a permanent monitoring program in Freetown in June 2004. We believe that only an ongoing presence and attendance at trials, day in and day out, will enable us to report on and evaluate the work of the Special Court in a comprehensive manner. This program, in cooperation with the Human Rights Center, U.C. Berkeley, and the International Center for Transitional Justice, monitors the trials and Special Court’s Outreach and Witness Programs.
Our monitors have attended daily court sessions since the first trial began. Their weekly reports, in conjunction with interim and thematic reports, cover the initial phase of the trials. Our website is updated with their information on a regular basis. Apart from the commitment and dedication of the monitors, acknowledgments are also due to the International Center for Transitional Justice with whom we share information and cooperate on issues regarding the Special Court, to our partners at the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley, and to the Wang Family Foundation for their ongoing support of this project.
Interim Analyses and Thematic Reports
The Special Court for Sierra Leone trial monitors and other researchers periodically produce special reports and papers providing thematically coherent, in-depth analysis on Sierra Leone. All past reports can be browsed and downloaded through the Special Reports Archive.
- Interim Report on the Special Court for Sierra Leone (issued Spring 2005)
- Second Interim Report on the Special Court (issued Spring 2006)
- Child Witnesses at the Special Court (issued April 2006)
- Silencing Sexual Violence: Recent Developments in the CDF Case at the Special Court for Sierra Leone (issued July 2005)
- Defence Office at the Special Court for Sierra Leone: A Critical Perspective (April 2007)
- Effective, Efficient, and Fair? An Inquiry into the Investigative Practices of the Office of the Prosecutor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone
- The Trial of Charles Taylor Part I: Prosecuting “Persons who bear the Greatest